Last time it was an AC wine - La Cuvée Mythique - for only £3.49. Tonight I'm drinking a Vin de Table which costs twice that. Yup, it's Hegarty Chamans No.3, under cork (£6.99 from Oddbins). The way the wine is labelled though, it's clear that it is from the 02003 vintage.
In truth, the label would make you think this wine was Australian, but one sniff tells you otherwise. I originally wrote, "...it can only be Southern France", but then I thought about how it rather reminds me of the Observatory Carignan/Syrah, from South Africa, so I intend to keep that assertion in reserve until I can test it against my precious last bottle of that finest of nectars.
The No.3 is very youthful looking - bright purple - and has a powerful nose, with a complex mix of herbs, burning green twigs, molasses, licorice, soy sauce and five-spice powder. There is also a fair whack of bright fruit, I'm told, but I was too distracted by all the savoury elements to pay any attention to that. The palate is strong, dry, somehow bitter and sweet at the same time, with fairly rough tannins and a long finish with a sharp little twist to it.
Despite all these good things I'm saying about it, I only rate the wine as 15/20. It falls into the same category as the de Bortoli Gulf Station Pinot Noir (blogged here); interesting but not satisfying. I think it's just not knitted together yet. I'll try it again in six months or a year and tell you how it is evolving.